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Financial and domestic abuse

If you're worried about being the victim of financial abuse, we're here to help you take back control of the way your money is managed.

What is financial abuse?

Financial abuse is when someone exerts control over another adult's finances. They do this to reduce their victim’s independence, take advantage of them and in some cases make their victim reliant on them.

Anyone can suffer financial abuse at the hands of someone they have a relationship with. This could be a family member, carer or someone who has third party authority such as a power of attorney. It most commonly occurs against the elderly and vulnerable or where other types of domestic abuse are also taking place.

Financial abuse can sometimes take the form of fraud - for example, if someone you know takes a credit card out in your name without your knowledge. When someone you know forces you to take action and you know what is happening, this is coercion.

HSBC UK has signed up to UK Finance’s Code of Practice on financial abuse. Our aim is to support victims of financial abuse so they can regain control of their finances.

Read the UK Finance guide ‘It’s your money’:

What is domestic abuse?

Domestic abuse takes place between people who are or have been intimate partners or family members, regardless of their gender or sexuality. This includes step and in-law family members.

It’s not always physical or violent. It can be psychological, financial, economic, emotional or sexual.

Domestic abuse is rarely a one-off incident. It can be the cumulative effect of different types of abuse such as financial abuse that can have a particularly damaging effect on a victim.

What can I do?

If you find yourself in immediate danger, call 999. If you can’t speak to the operator:

  • press 55 when prompted if you’re on a mobile
  • you may be prompted to cough or make some sort of noise if you’re calling from a landline
  • stay on the line

This will show that you need immediate help. Your call will be transferred automatically to the police.

If you’re suffering from financial abuse, we may be able to help. Please call us on 03457 404 404 to discuss this with one of our colleagues. 

We’ve also listed some steps below that you could take on your own if you prefer not to speak to anyone. The organisations below are also good at listening and giving advice.

Cards, PINs and passwords

If you’re concerned that someone else has your card details or PIN, we can send you a new card. You can also change your PIN at an ATM. You may also want to change your log on details for online and phone banking to make sure that your accounts are more secure.

Receiving post from us

We understand that it might be difficult for you to receive post at your home address. If this is the case, you can opt for online statements. You can also change your address so that your post goes to a trusted friend or family’s home instead. You’ll need to be registered for online banking to do this, or if you’re set up for phone banking, give us a call.

Managing your account with a third party

If you feel you can't manage your finances on your own, you can arrange for someone else to have access to your accounts or look after them for you. This can be beneficial if you struggle to make financial decisions and rely on someone to help you with your money. Read more about how third party access works.

You may also want to think about removing a third party if you’re worried about the access they have to your money or the financial decisions they are making on your behalf.

Joint accounts

If you have a joint account and you’re no longer together, you can ask us to change the way it’s set up. Both parties would have to sign for any transactions going out of the account. This means your regular payments would still be made, but nothing else could go out without your knowledge. You can also ask us to suspend the account to make sure that no transactions are made.

When you’re ready to think about your financial independence again, we can open a new account for you. Find out about ways to open an account. Call us on 03457 404 404 to discuss opening an account with a non-geographic sort code.

Credit cards

If you have an HSBC credit card, you should check if you’re the primary or secondary cardholder. The primary cardholder is responsible for the repayment of all money spent by any secondary cardholders you might have nominated. If you’re in any dispute, we’d recommend that you remove the secondary cardholder as soon as possible to make sure nothing else can be spent on the card.

Debts

If you’re having difficulties with paying your debts because of an abusive situation, please contact us on 0345 850 0622 to talk about what we can do to help.

Fraud

If you’ve been a victim of fraud, or you think someone has taken out credit in your name, please let us know as soon as possible. You can talk to us over the phone on 03457 404 404 or by visiting one of our branches.

Credit file

If you’re concerned that someone has taken credit in your name, you can get a copy of your credit report online or from one of our branches. You might want to think about getting a notice of dissociation from the main credit reference agencies, Experian, TransUnion and Equifax. This will help to separate you from any joint financial arrangements. You can also register with the fraud prevention organisation Cifas. It will then be able to alert you if any credit applications are made in your name.

Where can I get support

Hourglass

https://wearehourglass.org/

0808 808 8141 Monday to Friday 09:00–17:00

 

National Domestic Abuse Helpline

Operated by Refuge www.refuge.org.uk

0808 2000 247 24-hour helpline

 

Living With Abuse

www.lwa.org.uk

0808 802 0028 Monday to Saturday 08:00–20:00

 

Women’s Aid

www.womensaid.org.uk

Email: helpline@womensaid.org.uk

Instant messaging service 10:00 – 12:00 via website

 

The Men’s Advice Line

www.mensadviceline.org.uk

0808 801 0327 Monday to Friday 10:00–13:00 and 14:00–17:00

 

Money Advice Service

www.moneyadviceservice.org.uk/en/articles/protecting-against-financial-abuse
0800 138 7777

 

ManKind Initiative

www.mankind.org.uk

01823 334 244 Monday to Friday 10:00–16:00 and 19:00–21:00 (except Friday evenings)

 

Live Fear Free Helpline

Support for men, women and children in Wales with Welsh language provision.

https://gov.wales/live-fear-free

0808 8010 800

Further help

Bright Sky app

Bright Sky is a free app that provides support and information to anyone who is in an abusive relationship or is concerned about someone they know.

Features of Bright Sky:

  • available in 5 languages: English, Welsh, Urdu, Punjabi and Polish
  • UK-wide directory of specialist domestic abuse support services, with contact details
  • questionnaires to assess the safety of a relationship, plus a section on dispelling myths around domestic and sexual abuse
  • secure My Journal tool to record incidents of abuse in text, audio, video or photo form, without any of the content being saved on the device itself
  • links to further resources and information on topics around domestic abuse

If you're in an abusive relationship, we recommend you get a trusted friend or family member to download the app on your behalf. Please only download the Bright Sky app if it's safe to do so and you're sure your mobile isn't being monitored.

The Bright Sky app is available to download free on:

It’s easy to get in touch online. Talk to us directly through our chat channels.